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Using Essential oils safely
and successfully
Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd

Everyday Guide
Welcome to Shirley Price Aromatherapy. We hope you
will enjoy our Everyday Aromatherapy Guide. In this
little guide you will find, I hope, the answer to many of your questions regarding essential
oils, and how to safely use them with success.
What is Professional Aromatherapy?
Professional Aromatherapy is the systematic use of essential oils in holistic treatments
that seeks to improve physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils, extracted from
plants are thought to possess distinctive therapeutic properties, which may be utilised to
improve health and prevent disease.
These natural plant oils are applied in a variety of ways, for example:
By massage blended in a carrier oil - the most used method
Adding a few drops to warm bath water (ideally diluted first)
Through inhalations (this is not advisable for asthmatics)
Blended into creams/lotions and other plant bases for individual use
An essential oil is an aromatic, volatile substance extracted from a single botanical source
by distillation or expression. Essential oils have been utilised in the home as fragrances,
flavours and medicines for thousands of years and there are some 400 different oils
extracted from plants all over the world.

What is aromatherapy?
About essential oils. What are essential oils? What can they be used for? How can I use
them at home? Are essential oils safe? Why Organic?
The Essential Oils
Resins and Absolutes
About Carriers
The Carriers
How does Aromatherapy Work
Helping Health Problems
An Aromatherapy Treatment
Useful sources & Information

Aromatherapy today
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote the health and well-being of the
mind and body. It remains of use in the home for common ailments and is the first line of
defence against viral epidemic.
In the 20th Century Gattefosse coined the term to describe the use of essential oils for
their therapeutic value and his book is still in print. In fact essential oils have been used
to promote health and well-being since ancient times. Their use dwindled when the
civilised world learned how to synthesise medicines, which we then thought could take
the place of the natural, more expensive article. One thing you learn about essential oils
is how much has been forgotten! For example extensive trials of essential oils was made
in France in the 1960s leading to their vaporisation in hospitals. Nowadays we read of
successful trials in hospitals in the UK in combating MRSA as though this is something
Since the 1960s, we have learned that synthesised drugs and antiseptics are not all they
were intended to be and that nature provides a solution that is often more suited to the
Gattefosse, upon burning his hand in a laboratory accident, plunged it into a nearby vat of
lavender essential oil. He found that the hand healed very rapidly with surprisingly few
scars. This led him to begin investigating scientifically the therapeutic value and uses of
lavender and many other essential oils. This work was continued and was led by Keller
in Germany, Valnet in France and Marguerite Maury in London, Paris and Switzerland.

About Essential Oils

What are essential oils? What can they be used for? How can I use them at home? Are
essential oils safe? Why organic? These are just some of the questions that occur.
Essential oils are extracted from plants by various processes; normally by steam distilling
the plant matter extracting all the volatile constituents. Some plants generate more
essential oils than others. Eucalyptus leaves contain 10% by weight of essential oils
while 10,000 kg of Rose petals are required to generate just 1kg of Bulgarian Rose Otto.
Essential oils can be extracted from many types of plants and from different parts of the
plant. One oil may come from the leaves, for example eucalyptus, and another from the
roots, for example ginger, another from the flowers, the rose. Each has unique properties
which can be utilised very effectively by the human body to aid health and prevent
Most Essential oils have important antiseptic properties; many also fight fungal infections
such as athlete's foot or candida, and others even combat viruses such as warts or colds.
Plants which contain essential oils are among the most long lived on the planet.
Rootstock of Eucalyptus has been found to be 10,000 years old. The properties of
essential oils are many and varied; they can help many skin conditions and aid the
renewal of cells, which is one of the ways in which frankincense helps to prevent
scarring; they can be anti-spasmodic, which means they will help to prevent the spasms
that cause sickness and vomiting. Some essential oils are known for their menstruationregulating properties, others for detoxifying the system, thus being helpful in treating
cellulite and other toxic conditions.
Of particular importance in this list of useful properties is the fact that all essential oils
are normalising. An essential oil takes the body back to its normal state; it never takes
it past this point to cause an opposite condition.
True essential oils are complete in themselves - no part of them has been extracted and
nothing has been added. Aromatherapists believe that this untouched wholeness is of
paramount importance and that even elements present in tiny proportions play a crucial
role. It is the wholeness of the oil which gives it its normalising properties
Essential oil used in the food and perfume industries are usually standardised by
removing some parts of the oil and sometimes adding other ingredients (even synthetics)
in order to achieve a uniform standard.
Such oils should never be used in aromatherapy since only the COMPLETE, TRUE oil,
taken straight from the still, has full therapeutic value.

The Essential Oils

Some essential oils need care in use and should never be sold over the counter except by an
aromatherapist or herbalist who can advise on their use. The oils in this guide are those generally
reckoned to be safe in everyday use subject to the safety cautions and contraindications noted. A
patch test of a small quantity of diluted essential oil on the inner elbow is simply and easily done
and essential oil labels list the haptens to which a rare allergic reaction can occur. The
therapeutic effect of essential oils oils was first explained by Shirley Price in Practical
Aromatherapy first published in 1982 and in greater depth in the textbook Aromatherapy for
Health Professionals, also available from
BASIL (Octimum basilicum)/Lamiatae
Basil is found in many of the warm, temperate climates of the world. This annual herb grows up
to 60cm in height, has dark leaves and whorls of pink flowers which give off a powerful aroma.
The European sweet basil is produced mainly in France and Italy.
The essential oil, which is distilled from the whole plant, is virtually colourless and has a
refreshing aroma reminiscent of aniseed.
Used in inhalation, baths and massage, basil is particularly effective for depression, nervous
insomnia and mental strain. In baths and massage, basil can relieve cramps and digestive
disorders emanating from nervous tension; it can also be helpful in regulating scanty periods.
Inhalation of basil essential oil stimulates the brain and is most beneficial during long periods of
study. Helpful in emotions such as fear, despair and lethargy.
CAUTION: Care should be taken during early pregnancy as basil can be a powerful oil depending
in variety of plant.
BERGAMOT (Citrus bergamia - per)/Rutaceae
Bergamots are bitter citrus fruits. The trees were first discovered on the Canary Islands by
Christopher Columbus, who introduced them to Italy, which is still the chief area of production.
The oil, obtained by expressing the fruit rinds, is a yellow-green colour and has a refreshing
Bergamot oil is extremely useful in the treatment of digestive problems such as colic, gastric
spasms and sluggish digestion. Emotionally, bergamot calms agitation, lifts despondency and
balances mood swings.
CAUTION: Because bergamot is a photosensitiser it should never be used on the skin before
going into strong sunlight, since pigmentation can occur.
BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum)/Piperaceae
The pepper plant is a creeping vine which is found mainly in Indonesia, south east Asia, India and
Brazil. The essential oil is distilled from unripe berries which have been picked and left to dry in
the sun (where they turn black). It has a warm, spicy odour with a characteristic undertone.

A very important stimulant in the treatment of certain digestive disorders, such as painful
dafaecation, constipation, loss of appetite, black pepper essential oil is also effective against colic,
food poisoning and indigestion. Its analgesic qualities make is effective against toothache, and
muscular complaints. It helps colds and can be used as a sexual tonic.
CEDARWOOD (Cedrus atlantica)/Pinacceae
The trees from which cederwood essential oil is extracted are found across the globe - depending
on which particular species is used. Cedrus atlantica grows abundantly in Northern Africa and
particularly in Morocca. The oil, which has a sweet, woody odour is obtained by steam
It has a variety of uses, especially in the treatment of skin-related complaints such as acne,
dandruff, alopecia and over-production of oil from sebaceous glands. Respiratory problems like
bronchitis, catarrh and coughs can all be helped by the used of cederwood essential oil in
preparations. It is said to help prevent nightmares.
Caution: Although Cedrus atlantica contains a ketone, research does not show it to be toxic (as is
cedar LEAF oil, derived from Thuja occidentalis). Nevertheless, it may be prudent to use it with
CHAMOMILE GERMAN (Chamomilla recutita)/Asteraceae
True chamomile, is a hardy, self-seeding annual herb indigenous to Europe and Western Asia.
The plant more commonly referred to by the name chamomile is Roman chamomile
(Chamaemelum nobile).
The flower heads of Chamomilla recutita render a dark blue essential oil under steam distillation.
It has a fatty, sweet smell and contains, among other things, an important component known as
German chamomile is principally anti-inflammatory. It is helpful in the treatment of digestive
ailments such as indigestion and gastric ulcers, as well as being indicated for premenstrual
syndrome on account of its hormonal properties. Acne, broken veins, inflammation and wounds
can all be helped be the careful use of this oil and a compress will work wonders on irritated or
broken skin.

CHAMOMILE MOROCCAN (Ormenis mixta)/Asteraceae

Often called poor mans chamomile. This oil, extracted from wild plants, somewhat resembles
Roman chamomile and is effective for many of the same conditions.
CHAMOMILE ROMAN (Chamaemelum nobile)/Asteraceae
Distilled from double headed flowers it has a light, refreshing aroma. Roman chamomile is both
soothing and calming and, with its low toxicity, is very suitable to use on children and babies.

Good for sensitive, dry skin, its anti-inflammatory action soothes irritated skin, eczema, acne,
nappy rash and burns. In compresses, baths, application or massage, it helps stomach disorders
and restores appetites. Also beneficial for muscular cramps and the inflammation in rheumatism
and arthritis. It helps relieve menstrual problems, premenstrual stress and menopausal symptoms.
Roman chamomile is beneficial to frustration, panic, grief and forgetfulness.
CLARY-SAGE (Salvia sclarea)/Labiatae
Salvia means health. Schlarea means clear. Clary is short for clear eye. This beautiful plant is to
be found growing high up in the Alps. The oil, which has a strong, distinct aroma, is distilled
from the whole of the impressive flowering stem which grows up to 1.5 metres in height. It is an
excellent nerve tonic and powerful relaxant.
Clary is helpful for haemorrhoids and varicose veins when used in a carrier. Soothing and
regenerative for the skin, it helps to combat cellular ageing and preserve moisture in dry, mature
skin by compresses or application.
When used in inhalations, vaporisers, compresses, baths or massage clary sage essential oil has a
calming effect, and can help reduce high blood pressure.
Uplifting for depression and excellent for regulating hormones it is consequently most useful for
womens problems such as premenstrual syndrome, irregular periods, infertility and associated
Emotionally, clary sage soothes excitability, fear and grief. It lifts despair and helps to prevent
CAUTION: Continuous inhalation may cause sleepiness and its use is recommended at the end of
the day. Do not take alcohol after a treatment as the effects of the alcohol will be enhanced. NB
This plant should never be confused with sage (Salvia officinalis) which has different properties.

CYPRESS (Cupressus sempervirens)/Cupressaceae

Cypress oil is distilled from the leaves, twigs and cones of the Cyprus tree and has a woody, clear
and dry fragrance.
In application to the skin, it is astringent and soothing, helping to regulate production of sebum
and reduce perspiration, including the feet. Effective in the treatment of varicose veins and
haemorrhoids, it can help relieve menopausal spotting and can help staunch excessive blood
losses, especially after childbirth.
Cypress essential oil is calming as well as being helpful to nervous debility, soothing attacks of
diarrhoea when used in baths or application. Its antispasmodic properties are helpful against

Cypress is helpful against frustration, irritability and indecision. It is reputed to clear the mind of
grief and it certainly induces sleep.
EUCALYPTUS - Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globules)/Myrtaceae
Extracted from the blue gum tree, originally a native of Australia and Tasmania, it is now grown
in many sub-tropical climates including Spain, Portugal and China. Although occurring
throughout the whole tree, the essential oil is mainly distilled from the leaves.
Eucalyptus globus is a strong, natural antiseptic and is effective against a wide range of bacterial
infections. Its decongestant qualities make it ideal for relieving congestive headaches. Excellent
for clearing the head, it is universally used for colds, sinusitis and bronchial problems in gargles,
inhalations, vaporisers, baths and massage.
In baths, application or massage, relief can also be obtained in many circulatory disorders by
cleansing, stimulating and strengthening the kidneys and it is warming to arthritic pain, for which
relief can also be achieved by the use of a compress. It is a good insect repellent.
CAUTION: Due to the strength of its cineole content it should not be inhaled on its own by small
EUCALYPTUS - Gully Gum (Eucalyptus smithii)/Myrtaceae
Also a native of Australia, this variety of eucalyptus is much gentler than E.globulus, yet most
beneficial in action. Some of its effects are similar to those of E.globulus, being analgesic to
muscular pain and effective against coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis because of its
decongestant qualities. Unlike E.globulus, it can be used very safely on children.
FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia thurifera, B. carteri)/Burseraceae
This small tree has grown wild in the red sea area and north east Africa since Biblical times. The
essential oil, which is sometimes called olibanum, is obtained by the distillation of the resin; its
sweet, slightly spicy aroma has a calming effect conducive to concentration and meditation.
When used in baths or massage it helps dry skin and mature complexions and is extremely
effective in the treatment of wounds and subsequent scars. It is helpful against coughs, laryngitis,
asthma and bronchitis and is an immunostimulant, also relieving depression. A most useful oil
emotionally, frankincense soothes anger, irritability and frustration, and relieves grief and
GERANIUM (Pelargonium graveolens)/Geranaceae
Geraniums are grown commercially in France, Egypt, Morocco, China and the Reunion Islands the latter being known as geranium Bourbon. Distilled from the leaves the oil has a rich, sweet
Geranium oil reduces inflammation in arthritis and is an excellent antiseptic for acne and dry
eczema. Its astringent properties are effective in the control of herpes, mouth ulcers, diarrhoea
and gastroenteritis, as well as varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

Circulation of the lymph is improved by the use of geranium oil, assisting in the elimination of
waste products, therefore it also helps in the relief of fluid retention and cellulite.
Its antispasmodic action is helpful for cramp and its healing action on burns and wounds is well
known. It has been found to be of use in calming overaggressive sporting teenagers.
Used in inhalations, vaporisers, baths, application and massage it alleviates stress and anxiety,
and emotionally, it lifts the spirits from despair and lethargy.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale)/Zingiberaceae
The ginger plant is indigenous to the West Indies and the essential oil is won by steam distilling
the dried and crushed rhizomes. It has a clear, neutral colour and an aroma similar to that of the
spice but without the hotness.
The main therapeutic use of ginger essential oil is with respect to the digestive tract and its
attendant problems and conditions. It is stomachic, carminative, antiseptic and stimulating, and
acts as a tonic in the treatment of fatigue and impotence.
Its analgesic and warming properties are also effective in cases of muscular pain, sciatica and
GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradise)/Rutaceae
Originating in tropical Asia and the West Indies, the grapefruit tree is now cultivated mainly in
Northern and South America. The yellow oil is obtained by cold expression of the peel and has a
sweet, citrus aroma.
Grapefruit is a perfectly safe oil due to its non-toxic and non-irritating properties. It is effective in
caring for oily skin and acne and helpful in the relief of anxiety, stress, tension and associated
headaches, due to its uplifting properties. Circulatory problems such as muscle fatigue, obesity,
cellulite and water retention can be helped by regular use of this oil in baths or massages.
Grapefruit oils can be contaminated with pesticides and it is best to use organic oils.
JUNIPERBERRY (Juniperis communis)/Cupressaceae
The juniper is an evergreen tree grown throughout the Mediterranean. The oil is distilled from the
ripe berries which are dried immediately after picking (juniperberry oil). Lesser quality oil is
produced by adding berries used during the making of gin or by adding the twigs or leaves
(juniper oil). The essential oil has a sweet fresh aroma, similar to cypress but sharper.
Juniper oil is neurotonic, helpful in overcoming debility and mental fatigue. It is a very beneficial
oil for the urinary system, being a stimulant to the kidneys and therefore an excellent diuretic,
helping the excretion of uric acid in gout and rheumatism. High blood pressure problems can also
be alleviated, due in part to diuretic properties or the oil and in part its calming effect.
Juniperberry oil is helpful for period pains and invaluable when breasts are swollen during

Emotionally, it helps to reduce frustration, guilt and jealousy.

CAUTION: Infrequent use at low concentration (2 drops in 20ml) is advised during the first five
months of pregnancy and in cases of sever kidney disease, to ensure that the kidneys do not
become over stimulated.
LAVANDER (Lavandula officinalis)/Labiate
This plant is a native of southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries, though its a hybrid
relation, lavandin, is more extensively grown, yielding more oil per acre and being cheaper to
produce. Much lavender available on the market is in fact adulterated lavandin, which has slightly
different therapeutic properties.
True lavender oil, which is obtained by steam distillation of the flowering tops of the plant, is
non-toxic and has a full flowery aroma. The aroma or lavandin is usually more camphoraceous.
Known for its soothing and uplifting properties, lavender alleviates stress and depression and is
helpful for easing headaches and insomnia as well as lowering blood pressure. As an antiseptic, it
is effective in the treatment of colds, flu, sinusitis and respiratory problems in general.
Used in masks, compresses, baths or application, lavender promotes healthy skin, heals wounds
and is effective in the treatment of acne, eczema, dandruff, nappy rash and athletes foot. It
soothes burns and insect bits and helps prevent scarring. Can be used safely on young children.
Used in baths, application or massage it gives relief from muscular aches and pains and
Essential oil of lavender has a calming and balancing effect, promotes menstrual regularity, helps
pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms and alleviates thrush.

The Shirley Price lavender thriving in Tuscany, Italy in 2011


LEMON (Citrus limon)/Rutacee

The lemon tree is a native of the East but is now cultivated extensively in Mediterranean
countries and the Americas. The essential oil, extracted by cold expression of the peel, is pale
yellow in colour.
One of the most useful essential oils, it is most effective in the treatment of digestive disorders as
it regulates stomach acidity. Regular use of lemon in baths or massage helps to control acne,
greasy skin and herpes. It is also effective in the treatment of verrucas, corns and warts.
Lemon oil is a strong, non-toxic antiseptic for colds, coughs, flu and sore throats when used in
baths, gargles or massage. It can bring relief to those suffering with arthritis or rheumatism on
account of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to lower high blood pressure and stimulate
poor circulation. Emotionally, lemon oil relieves guilt and resentment.
CAUTION: May cause dermal irritation on very sensitive skins, especially if exposed to sunlight,
as it is a weak photosensitiser.
MANDARIN (Citrus reticulate)/Rutaceae
Originating in China, this evergreen tree grows up to six metres high, bearing shiny, waxy leaves,
fragrant flowers and fleshy fruit. Mandarin oil is obtained by cold expression of the peel; it is pale
orange in colour with a very sweet, citrus aroma.
Mandarin has excellent calming properties, being particularly good for insomnia and excitability,
when used in application, baths or massage. It is also a good digestive oil for stomach pains,
indigestion and constipation and has a stimulating effect on the stomach and liver.
Due to its gentle action it is ideal for use on children and pregnant women. Fluid retention,
obesity and fatigue can all benefit from the use of mandarin oil, and like lemon oil can relieve
guilt and resentment.
MARJORAM, SPANISH (Thymus mastichina)/Labiatae
A variety of thyme and not in fact true marjoram, this plant yields an essential oil which has a
sharper aroma then true marjoram oil and different properties.
Used in inhalations, vaporisers, compresses, baths, applications and massage, Spanish marjoram
helps to alleviate bronchitis, asthma and respiratory problems in general, due to its anti-catarrhal
CAUTION: Take care when buying marjoram oil to look at the botanical name, to ensure getting
the one whose effects you need.
MARJORAM, SWEET (Origanum majorana)/Labiatae
A native of Europe and central Asia, this plant yields a sweet smelling essential oil under
distillation of the leaves and flowering heads. The oils warm and soothing properties were well
known to the ancient Egyptians, who used it for healing and overcoming grief.


Sweet marjoram is calming and comforting to the mind, helpful in the treatment of tension,
anxiety, irritability and hysteria. It is effective in alleviating headaches, reducing insomnia and
lowering blood pressure.
The warming, analgesic and antispasmodic properties of sweet marjoram are effective in reducing
menstrual pains, and alleviating arthritis and rheumatism. It also regularises thyroid activity.
CAUTION: Origanum majorana contains different chemical components from Thymus
mastichina and if the Latin name is not given when purchasing, it will almost certainly be Spanish
marjoram (see above), whose effects are not the same as those of sweet marjoram.
MELISSA (Melissa officinalis)/Labiatae
Originating in southern Europe, but quite common in Britain, Melissa is a small perennial herb.
The oil is distilled from the leaves before the plant flowers and has a fresh, sweet, lemon
fragrance. Pure Melissa oil is rare and costly, consequently it is most frequently available in a
mix, giving the effects attributed to the lemon-smelling oils from which the mix is made, not of
true Melissa.
True Melissa eases digestive disorders such as indigestion and nausea, it is used is compresses or
inhalation. It helps relieve anxiety, headaches, tension and insomnia; it also lowers high blood
pressure and relieves palpitations.
An excellent oil for women, baths, application and massage will ease painful periods and PMS
and by its hormonal action it regulates the menstrual cycle, which can assist conception. True
Melissa can also relieve eczema and other skin problems by its anti-inflammatory action.
It is soothing and uplifting to the mind, only low concentrations being needed to reduce
irritability or lift despair and lethargy.
MYRRH (Commiphora myrrha)/Burseraeae
Myrrh essential oil, obtained by steam distillation of the crude resin, is pale yellow and has a
warm, musky balsamic aroma. Soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory, it helps mature
complexions and numerous skin problems such as athletes foot, eczema, ringworm and nappy
rash, to name but a few.
When used in inhalation, baths or massage, myrrh is effective for respiratory disorders, giving
relief to asthma, bronchitis and colds. In gargles it soothes mouth ulcers and sore throats.
NEROLI (Citrus aurantium amara flos)/Rutaeae
The bitter orange tree is grown mainly in Northern Africa and Spain. It bears small, white, starshaped flowers at the leaf axils. Neroli is the name given to the essential oil of the bitter orange
flowers, which are hand picked just as they are beginning to open. It is obtained by steam
distillation and has a unique bitter/sweet odour with a spicy undertone (Orange blossom oil is an
absolute, obtained in the same way as rose absolute).


Neroli is extremely helpful in the treatment of many types of skin problems such as varicose
veins, broken capillaries and irritated patches. The essential oil has particular therapeutic benefit
in nerve related disorders such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia and excitability. Outside
aromatherapy, neroli is used extensively in the manufacture of colognes and toilet waters.
ORANGE BITTER (Citrus aurantium per)/Rutaceae
Both the sweet orange tree and the taller, bitter orange tree originate in China. The former is
grown extensively in America and also many Mediterranean countries.
The essential oil is obtained by cold expression of the ripe outer peel. The sweet oil has a fresh,
fruity aroma while the bitter oil has a more delicate, dry and floral characteristics. Both oils are
Used in gargles, mouthwashes, compresses and massage, these oils are excellent digestive
stimulants, improving the appetite, helping constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence and mouth ulcers.
Bronchitis, asthma and hay fever can be helped by inhalation, baths or application, as can dull and
oily skins. Both are good oils to combat insomnia and relieve nervous tension be regular use in
inhalations and baths and by massage on tense muscles. Bitter orange oil is useful in relieving
frustration, irritability and nightmares.
CAUTION: Neither orange oil should be used on very sensitive skins immediately before being
exposed to strong sunlight, as they are weak photosensitisers.
PATCHOULI (Pogostemon patchouli)/Labiatae
Patchouli is a small, leafy shrub which grows mainly in the Far East Indonesia, China and on
the island of Madagascar. The essential oil is obtained be steam distillation of the young leaves,
which are first dried. It is a dark, viscous oil with a strong balsamic odour and spicy undertones.
Patchouli oil is particularly helpful as an immunostimulant, when it is a valuable tonic used in
massage, inhalation and baths. It is also effective in the treatment of damaged skin, especially
cracks, sores, wounds and scars.
It is also helpful against haemorrhoids and varicose veins and its anti-inflammatory action calms
inflamed skin and eczema.
Emotionally, patchouli balances mood swings, reduces irritability and lifts despair and
A base note in perfumes, mixed with Almond oil it makes an attractive perfume.
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)/Labiatae
A product of northern temperate climates, the best peppermint plants grown elsewhere in the
world originated in Mitcham, England, and are known as Mitcham peppermint. The essential oil
is distilled from the whole plant and its sharp, refreshing aroma is easily recognised.


Used in gargles, compresses or application, it is highly effective for treating sickness and nausea;
it also relieves acidity, heartburn, diarrhoea, indigestion and flatulence. Respiratory problems
such as coughs and colds, sinusitis, throat infection, asthma and bronchitis can be relieved
effectively by the use of peppermint in inhalations, baths or application as can congestive
Its cooling and cleansing properties help soothe itchy skin and inflammation when well diluted,
which makes it helpful in the treatment of varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Essential oil of
peppermint used in baths, application or massage, encourages menstrual regularity; and during
the menopause, relief can be obtained from hot flushes.
CAUTION: Because of its powerful aroma and effects, the recommended dilution must be kept
to, especially during pregnancy (see paragraph 5, page 39). Keep eyes closed when inhaling (not
recommended for small children). De-terpenated oil is often sold as whole peppermint oil; this is
not suitable for aromatherapy.
PETITGRAIN (Citrus auantium amara fol)/Rutaceae
Petitgrain is the name given to the essential oil won by steam distillation of the leaves of the bitter
orange tree. Such trees are cultivated on a large scale in Italy, Paraguay, Brazil and Northern
Africa. When the leaves are distilled with flowers, the oil is named Petitgrain over flowers,
whose wonderful aroma can approach that of neroli oil. The benefits of this special oil are twofold see neroli.
Therapeutically, petitgrain is a particularly good relaxant, being calming to the nervous system.
Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful against acne and oedema and it is also
Emotionally, it is indicated for panic, irritability and resentment and is helpful against
PINE NEEDLE (Pinus sylvestris)/Pinaceae
Also known as Scots Pine, this hardy tree can be found growing all over Europe and Russia,
especially in the colder upland regions such as Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The essential oil
is distilled from the needles, twigs and cones. It has a fresh, resin-like odour and is pale yellow in
Because of its inherent antiseptic qualities, pine needle essential oil is an excellent air antiseptic
and can be used with good effect in cases of infection, particularly those of the respiratory tract
such as bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. It is also helpful against influenza.
Urinary tract infections like cystitis and renal infections can be relieved by the used of pine
needle oil and it is also indicated for general debility and fatigue. Its anti-inflammatory action
makes it a useful oil for arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
ROSE OTTO (Rosa damescena)/Rosaceae


Rose otto is obtained from the petals of the rose by steam distillation, requiring several kilos of
petals to yield a few ml of oil. It is the essential oil of rose, also known as attar of roses, which
should be used in aromatherapy, rather then the absolute, which is not true a true essential oil.
Therapeutically, rose otto is a safe all-rounder. Because of its antiseptic properties, it is effective
in healing skin disorders such as cuts, wounds and other skin problems.
Rose otto is valuable against debility and depression. It is especially indicated in womans
problems, including irregular periods, PMS, womb impurities and sterility. Emotionally, rose
otto is helpful against where anger, jealousy or guilt are affecting the health.
Because of its low toxicity and strong antiseptic qualities, rose otto is ideal to use on children.
(see also rose absolute)
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)/Labiatae
A native of the Mediterranean region, this romantic herb yields its oil from the flowering tops
under steam distillation.
Stimulating and decongesting, rosemary oil promotes blood circulation, particularly to the brain,
so clearing the mind, relieving tension and giving a feeling of well being. Its antiseptic properties
relieve coughs, colds and flu. These qualities make it beneficial to the skin and help to prevent
dandruff and hair loss. Its use in compresses, application or massage is particularly effective for
indigestion, flatulence and constipation.
Rosemary can be effective in regulating the menstrual cycle; its hormonal effects are conducive
to conception and helpful before the menopause. Its gentle analgesic properties relieve general
aches and pains, sprains and arthritis when used in baths, application or massage.
CAUTION: Rosemary oils with a high camphor content are best not used regularly or at
concentrations exceeding 2 drops in 20ml during the first five months of pregnancy or by people
who suffer from high blood pressure.
SANDALWOOD (Santalum album)/Santalaceae
The sandalwood tree is a native of India; the name Santalum is of Latin origin and later used in
Sanskrit, the ancient Hindu language which flourished in India well into the 19th century.
Sandalwood essential oil is distilled from the wood, mainly from the heartwood and roots but also
from off cuts and chips, after the best wood is used for furniture making. Its sweet, woody aroma
is most pleasant and therapeutic. Being antiseptic, calming and soothing, it relieves sore throats,
dry coughs and chronic bronchitis.
Used in compresses, application or massage, sandalwood is beneficial for dry, mature or wrinkled
skin. It therefore helps in the treatment of dandruff and eczema, relieving many allergenic skin
Important in the treatment of genitor-urinary systems, essential oil of sandalwood helps in the
treatment of infections, including cystitis.


Sandalwood is effective for digestive disorders such as heartburn and nausea, especially morning
sickness. It is cardiotonic, assisting in circulatory problems such as haemorrhoids and varicose
veins, which are soothed by compresses or application in a carrier (see page 35). It is also a
sexual tonic.
An emotionally balancing oil, sandalwood calms agitation and panic, lifts despair and controls
mood swings.
TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia)/Myrtaceae
Originating in Australia, the tea tree has been used for its oil for centuries by the aborigines the
early settlers are reputed to have used he leaves to make tea. The essential oil is extracted by
steam distillation.
The Tree is a powerful antiseptic, with the advantage of being non-toxic, and its aroma is an
effective insect repellent.
When used in gargles, mouthwashes, inhalations or vaporisers, it is a most effective bactericide,
alleviating intestinal infections and bronchitis. Tea tree also gives relief to mouth ulcers, calms
diarrhoea and relieves gastroenteritis.
It is cooling and antifungal properties are effective against athletes foot and nail bed infections.
Relieves boils and rashes, soothes sunburn and encourages healing of open wounds. Used in sitz
baths, douches, baths or application, essential oil of tea tree helps to clear vaginal thrush.
Tea tree oil and Eucalyptus should not be used on pets as cat and dog livers are not adapted to
eliminate the terpenes they contain and toxicosis can result
THYME, SWEET (Thymus vulgaris)/Labiatae
This herb, cultivated throughout Europe, is a small, creeping plant with delicate flowers and
leaves which yield essential oil under steam distillation. Unlike red thyme, sweet thyme essential
oil contains a high percentage of alcohols and is very pale in colour with a sweet aroma.
Sweet thyme is a good general stimulant, lifting depression, and is a powerful antiseptic with a
long list of indications, among them asthma, rheumatism, insomnia, flatulence, hypotension,
colds and flu and hair loss.
It is gentle in action, making it safe to use on children.
Sweet thyme is of great importance in balancing emotions, from anger to grief and jealousy; very
powerful for coping with mood swings.
SPIKENARD (Nardostachys jatamansi)/Valerianacea
Closely related to valerian, this plant is often called false valerian. It is one of the oils mentioned
in the Bible, both in Old and New Testaments. The most important therapeutic use of spikenard
essential oil is a sedative, (valerian was a blue print for vallium) and it can be used to treat a
variety of nervous disorders.


Spikenard is antispasmodic against digestive problems, such as convulsions and intestinal colic.
Decongesting to the circulation, it is helpful in reducing varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
VETIVER (Vetiveria zizanioides)/Poaceae
This perennial grass is native to tropical Asia. It is now cultivated in Indonesia, Brazil, Angola
and the Far East. The clear, yellow essential oil is extracted from the dried root by steam
Vetiver has excellent antiseptic and tonic properties, being useful as an immunostimulant and in
the treatment of acne and other skin infections. It is also helpful for irregular periods and is a
tonic to both the liver and pancreas.
YLANG YLANG (Cananga odorata)/Annonaceae
Ylang ylang trees are natives of the Far East, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The essential
oil, won by steam distillation of the yellow flowers, is a pale, watery colour with an aroma which
is a perfume in itself. It is divided into several qualities for perfumery purposes; the best for
aromatherapy is the complete oil, when available.
Ylang ylang essential oil is an effective sedative, indicated for high blood pressure, restoring
equilibrium to hyperpnoea and tranquilizing to tachycardia. Because it is antiseptic, ylang ylang
essential oil is helpful against intestinal infections, and also acne.
Interestingly, ylang ylang has been cited as an aphrodisiac capable of countering impotence and
Emotionally, ylang ylang is helpful against irritability, despair and forgetfulness.
Resins and Absolutes
BENZOIN (Styrax benzoin or S. tonkinensis)/Styraceae
Benzoin resinoid is produced form a thick, red-brown resin which exudes from the wounded bark
of trees native to Thailand (formerly Siam) and Sumatra; the best qualities have a soft, vanillalike aroma.
Benzoin is primarily an antiseptic and a stimulant, but is also used as an expectorant, clearing the
respiratory tract of surplus mucus and so improves breathing. Helpful against urinary infections
like cystitis, benzoin also relieves nervous tension and stress. It is excellent, when used in a
carrier lotion, at relieving chapped, cracked skin.
JASMIN ABSOLUTE (Jasminum grandiflorum)/Oleaceae
The jasmine bush is widely cultivated in Spain, Northern Africa, India and Southern France.
Jasmin oil is not an essential oil, but an absolute, extracted from the small, white flowers by using
a solvent. The genuine oil has a rich, sweet, floral odour with a delightful herbaceous undertone.


Jasmine is valuable in the treatment of nervous disorders such as apathy, depression and nerve
debility as it is both sedative and uplifting. Use only high quality jasmin; poor qualities can affect
sensitive skin due to the chemicals added during production.
ROSE ABSOLUTE (Rosa centifolia)/Rosaceae
Like jasmine absolute, rose absolute is not an essential oil, sine it is derived by solvent extraction.
It is a deep yellowy orange colour and has a typical rose odour with sweet undertones.
Its therapeutic are similar to, although not as concentrated as, those of rose otto (page 26), but
caution is needed on sensitive skin because of the way it is produced.

About Carriers
Anything that carries an essential oil into the body is known in aromatherapy as a carrier. The
carrier in inhalation is air; in the bath it is the water; in massage it is the vegetable oil. If essential
oils are added to a lotion or cream for self-application, then each of these is acting as a carrier.
Vegetable oils, macerated oil and white lotion are the most common carriers for application to the
Aromatherapy carrier oils, unlike those used in cooking, have not been heated, refined, bleached
or re-coloured, all of which destroy the natural properties. These cold pressed, unrefined oils are
best, as they retain all their natural, vital and beneficial properties which, although not as
powerful as those of the essential oils, are still desirable in a treatment. A whole body massage
will require about 10-15ml of carrier oil and only 4-6 drops of essential oil.
A non-greasy lotion is invaluable for self-application, where an oil may be unnecessarily greasy.
A lotion is absorbed immediately, leaving grease-free, smooth skin.
It is vital that the carrier is of an equally high quality as the essential oils which you use, as it
makes up at least 95% of the mix and can dramatically affect the quality of the blend.

The Carrier Oils

Sweet almond oil is one of the most useful carrier oils and is excellent for the protection of the
skin, being emollient, nourishing and softening.
These oils are similar to each other and are rich in vitamins. Natural moisturisers, they are
excellent for feeding the skin, and are immediately absorbed.
A rich oil, invaluable o add to a base vegetable oil at 10-25%. It has healing properties, and is rich
in lecithin and vitamins A, B and D. Avocado oil is expressed from the dried fruits, which gives it


its natural deep green colour. In cold weather, it may sometimes appear cloudy, indicating that the
oil has not been refined and is therefore of good quality.
A highly beneficial oil, pressed from the seeds, evening primrose is useful for dry, scaly skin.
Rich in vitamins E and F and in GLA (gamma linoleic acid), this excellent natural moisturiser has
a regenerative effect, helping to maintain the natural softness and suppleness of youthful skin.
The oil has a lovely light texture leaving the skin satin smooth. It is a good base for bruises and
skin problems.
Mostly available as a refined oil, grapeseed is very fine, light, odourless and colourless. It
penetrates the skin, leaving a smooth sating finish.
A very rich oil, good for dry skin. It contains proteins, vitamins and minerals and is often added
to other carrier oils (from 10-25%) because of the natural preservative powers due to its vitamin E
A synergistic blend of grapeseed, avocado and wheatgerm, which penetrates the skin easily. The
added wheatgerm helps the keeping qualities whilst the avocado enriches the mix.
CALENDULA (Macerated in sunflower oil)
A vegetable oil, usually sunflower oil, is used to absorb the healing properties from flowers. The
resulting oil has a very beneficial effect on the skin, relieving eczema and protecting against
chapping and cracking.
HYPERICUM (Macerated in olive oil)
(Also known as St Johns Wort)
The flowering tops from the plant are macerated in olive oil, producing a highly beneficial deep
red oil. The colour comes from the buds which stain the fingers red if pressed between them.
Hypericum oil is excellent for use on the skin as it is soothing and antiseptic, and healing to burns
and bruises.
JOJOBA (Liquid wax)


Jojoba is obtained from the jojoba nut and is a very beneficial oil for all types of skin conditions,
especially oily and problem skins. It lubricates and protects without blocking pores. Being a wax,
it has an extremely long shelf life.
LIME BLOSSOM OIL (Macerated in sunflower oil)
The flowers of the lime blossom are used to make relaxing tea. The oil is also relaxing, aiding
sleep. It is effective in fighting mature skin and wrinkles.
MELISSA (Macerated in sunflower oil)
The second cutting of Melissa is used to make this oil which is useful in the treatment of
headaches and dry, mature skin. With the addition of the appropriate essential oils its benefits are
increased, especially for heavy legs and cellulite.
A unique product based entirely on natural vegetable products, this lotion has been especially
formulated for aromatherapy as a perfect carrier for essential oils. Easily absorbed, this fine light
lotion is ideal when a carrier oil is though to be too greasy or inconvenient. It is absorbed readily
into the skin, leaving a completely non-greasy, smooth feeling. The lotion has excellent keeping
qualities and can be enriched by the addition of up to 25% of calendula or another carrier oil
thought to be beneficial.

How does aromatherapy work?

Aromatherapy works in two ways:

Essential oils vaporise readily and can therefore enter the body via the air through the
nose and bronchial passages. Adding a few drops of essential oil to a tissue, a bowl of hot
water, or to a warm bath, releases the vapour, which is then inhaled. During massage
there is also a degree of inhalation as the oils vaporise due to body heat.
An aroma can have an immediate effect on the mind and the body. Tiny hair-like
extensions of the brain at the top of the nose detect all aromas, which are rapidly
interpreted by the brain. The faster the stimuli can reach the brain, the faster the effect
will take place. Just 20 molecules can stimulate the limbic brain. Less is more!

Essential oils are absorbed through the skin directly to the bloodstream via carriers such
as water (baths, compresses), vegetable oils, lotions and creams (application and
massage). Compresses are the most effective way to absorb essential oils.


Traditionally in this country essential oils have been used hand-in-hand with massage,
which utilises another important sense that of touch. People who are not well, or are
stressed, benefit simply by the touch of another human being. Old people and people
suffering from diseases such as cancer can benefit enormously from the power of touch;
in fact we all can. Touch in itself brings us closer to others and immediately helps us to
de-stress, making an aromatherapy treatment a double benefit to a persons health.
Although the effects of using a single essential oil are beneficial to the health, the
synergistic effect of using 2-4 essential oils adds considerably to the improvement shown;
it also ensures that an oil needing care in use is not over used, as it is proportion will
automatically be substantially reduced. Safety first. To avoid irritation or toxicosis the
total number of drops used should not exceed those given below.

Helping Common Health Problems

Using two or three oils together usually increases the benefits received.
The vast majority of essential oils are uses in food, flavouring, perfumes and in the home
first aid kit to treat common ailments using the esthetic and antimicrobial, antiviral and
antifungal properties of essential oils. Research has confirmed using three essential oils
together results in a synergy which makes the mix more effective. Here are some recipes
for home use
All pure essential oils are ready for use in the following ways:

Inhalation and vaporisation

Essential oils are a first line of defence against a viral epidemic, to repel insects, for
coughs and congestion and for meditation. It is particularly pleasing to create a festive
mood by diffusing oils at Noel. Families sometimes find it difficult to express their
feelings and essential oils can help.
A few drops (6-8) on a paper tissue or in a basin of warm water (not asthmatics).

Room Freshener
Put 10-12 drops (with water) onto a small bowl in a warm place, i.e. radiator shelf or on a
paper kitchen towel on the radiator itself. As an attractive alternative and for use in the
summer months, use and efficient oil burner.


An anti infectious blend Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Teatree

An insect repellent Cedarwood, Citronella, Basil (1 drop)
For meditation Frankincense, Cypress, Juniper
For coughs and congestion Benzoin, Pine, Eucalyptus
Add 5-10 drops of oil to the water when the bath is full. No more than 5 drops for
children under 12. 1 drop of lavender for babies. Always check the specific safety data
in this guide or online before using a new oil.

A stimulating morning bath Rosemary, Juniper,

A relaxing evening bath Chamomile, Lavender, Rose
A sensual bath Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Jasmine
A bath for aches and pains Lavender, Rosemary,

Gargle or Mouthwash
Use 2-3 drops in half a cupful of warm water; stir well before each gargle.

Foot and Hand Baths

4-5 drops in half a cupful of warm water; steep for 10 minutes. Follow with application

Massage or Skin Oil Application

15 drops in 50ml carrier oil like sweet almond oil or grapeseed or white lotion to be
massaged into the affected area. (For single applications use 2-3 drops in one teaspoon
carrier oil or white lotion.)


An oil for muscular tension Marjoram, Rosemary,

Blackpepper (1 drop),
An oil for cellulitis Fennel, Geranium, Juniper
An oil for nervous anxiety Lavender, Neroli, Clary Sage
A rejuvenating facial oil Rose, Neroli, Frankincense
Massage can be applied to the whole body or to specific parts eg the shoulders for
muscular tension resulting from poor posture or driving, the stomach for indigestion.
A light touch called the M technique for hospital and hospice care has been developed
by Jane Buckle involving 5 minutes touch to the hands and feet.

Pour just enough hot water (or cold, depending on the problem) into a bowl to be soaked
up in the size of cotton compress chosen (experience and practice will soon make it easy
to determine the quantity necessary) and add 4-8 drops of essential oil. Squeeze slightly,
apply and cover with clingfilm, then a warm scarf (or ice pack). Leave for two hours. A
compress is of great use in clinical aromatherapy as 75% of the essential oil is absorbed
by the skin compared to 4% absorbtion in a massage blend.
Neat Application
Neat application to the skin should be avoided but it is safe to use Lavender (just a drop)
on wounds, bruises and scars. Some people (about 1% of us) are sensitive to essential
oils and should avoid them. Check the oil label to which haptens you might be sensitive.
Avoid oils which can cause irritation and patch test for irritation by a putting a diluted
drop on the inside of the elbow. In the rare case that irritation occurs wash with warm
water immediately. For coldsores, burns and wounds use from fingertips once or twice
only, followed by application (above) at regular intervals. Take care not to over apply tea
tree to fungal infections of the foot and toenails however tempting it may be. Tea tree
and Eucalyptus should never be applied to cats and dogs as their livers are not adapted to
plant material.
1 teabag. 1 pints boiling water. 2-3 drops essential oils, stir well. Remove teabag. Drink
1 cup 3 times daily and/or at bedtime.


Today the sense of smell or touch is so undervalued that those who encounter
aromatherapy for the first time get a sense of great enthusiasm as they reconnect to their
environment. In personal use aromatherapy can help

Relieve stress
Treat minor first aid cases like warts, burns and stings
Treat and normalise different skin types like oily, eczema or acne skin
Relieve the symptoms of hayfever and sinusitis
As everyday cosmetics
To help prevent and treat common ailments
For sports injuries and to support exercise programs
As a preventative measure to ward off infections and maintain health and vitality
in body and mind
9. To create a fragrant and hygienic environment
10. A personal perfumes enabling you to create your own signature perfume or to
match your mood

I use the word can because nothing is certain. Essential oils vary from field to field and
season to season and our bodies have individual reactions to their constituents. This
variation is the secret of their power and success but it means they are not medicine.
To gain the benefit of aromatherapy certain cautions should be borne in mind:
1. Avoid Rosemary if you have high blood pressure as this stimulating oil raises
blood pressure
2. Avoid Citrus oils if you are sensitive to them. Do not go out into sunlight or use a
sunbed for 2 hours after applying citrus oil to the skin
3. Do not use essential oils at home to treat medical or psychological problems
which require medical attention or an appointment with an aromatherapist.
4. Undiluted essential oils should never be used neat on the skin (unless in an
emergency for such things as burns, bruises, wounds etc.).
5. Do not take essential oils internally unless under the supervision of a suitably
medically qualified person.
6. Do not use essential oils on young babies under one, although a baby massage
with carrier oil or a drop in the bath of lavender is safe.
7. Keep essential oils away from children and out of eyes. If essential oil gets in the
eyes flush with milk which will dissolve the oil.
8. Check for contra-indications to any oils for specific conditions such as pregnancy,
sun-bathing or any major health problem you may have, and if your choice is
contra indicated; do not use essential oils on a regular basis or in a concentration
of more than 2%.
9. Store in dark bottles away from light and heat. Discard after the manufacturers
sell by date as the contents will have oxidised.
10. Buy essential oils from a reputable supplier such as members of the
Aromatherapy Trades Council and Soil Association.


NB: Most contra-indications are based on the over use of concentrated oils on a regular
basis on the skin or by ingestion. When used as recommended in most aromatherapy
books (i.e. in a controlled manner) the amounts used do not constitute a hazard. Aspirins,
carrots and vitamins, if consumed in large quantities, are also contra-indicated for good

Mix your own perfume in a little bottle and put 6 drops:
a) onto a small cotton wool ball attached to your underclothes,
b) in a teaspoonful of carrier lotion to apply to the skin. Jojoba or Evening Primrose
oil or Argan make ideal carriers for your favourite perfume mix. Dab the mix on
the wrists, neck and behind the ears

Refreshing scents Geranium, Bergamot, Juniper,

Relaxing scents Lavender, Cedarwood, Neroli, Rose
Aphrodisiac scents Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Sandalwood,
Anaphrodisiac scent Sweet marjoram


An Aromatherapy Treatment
In a typical aromatherapy session, the aromatherapist will ask questions about previous
medical history, general health, nutrition and exercise as well as a persons lifestyle. This
will help the practitioner decide which essential oils are safe and the most appropriate for
the individual. The ultimate experience of the combined effects of smell and touch is the
professional aromatherapy treatment, which is unsurpassed in the field of complementary
medicine for relieving stress.
What more could you ask of a health giving treatment than one which releases the most
wonderful aromas, at the same time relaxing and healing the body! The aromatherapist
will select two or more essential oils to help you emotional and physical state as well as
your symptoms, and will offer appropriate advice for home treatment. After selecting
and blending appropriate essential oils, the aromatherapist may apply the oils in
combination with massage or suggest other methods if massage is unsuitable. A
specialised massage technique which relieves tension, drains lymph fluid and improves
circulation, will help to rejuvenate the body, removing aches and pains and generally
promoting balanced, good health. Most aromatherapists then carry out a facial treatment
to help general congestion and problems such as acne, blackheads, or excessive dryness.
Regular 4-6 weekly treatments (together with self-help home treatment using oils mixed
specially for you by you or your aromatherapist) will keep your mind relaxed and your
body healthy and in good condition.Aromatherapy treatments are effective against stress,
depression, arthritis, asthma, period problems, cellulite and many more conditions.
Localised and chronic conditions like sinusitis, bronchitis, leg cramps etc., can be
alleviated by local massage from an aromatherapist, and/or advised home treatment using
specially selected oils. Minor problems respond well to aromatherapy used at home
together with a reliable book. HOWEVER, if you have an acute or serious problem, SEE
Aromatherapy is thought to produce both psychological and physiological effects and is
mostly used for stress and stress related conditions. Aromatherapy is used in a variety of
healthcare settings, including hospitals and hospices.
Choosing a practitioner
It is important to choose a qualified practitioner who has undertaken all the necessary
training to understand the theory and practice of aromatherapy.


Useful sources and information

There are a great many useful books on aromatherapy of interest to both students of aromatherapy and
practitioners. This is my bookshelf at home with the books I use day to day. Books can be readily obtained
at Many students of the Shirley Price aromatherapy diploma are authors,
practicioners, tutors and researchers in their own right. It is particularly delightful when alumni return to
the Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy as tutors of the Shirley Price Aromatherapy
Two important books for students are The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Battaglia 2003) and Clinical
Aromatherapy (Buckle 2003)
Practical Aromatherapy by Shirley Price
This book is ideal for the beginner as it explains all aspects of aromatherapy including massage techniques,
showing how to blend pure essential oils to suit different purposes and how to proceed with the basic steps
of massage. It is an extremely useful, easy to read reference for self-help aromatherapy in the home.
Aromatherapy for Common Ailments by Shirley Price
This beautifully illustrated book is a pleasure to use. It contains detailed properties and uses of twelve best
known essential oils with particular emphasis on how to treat the most common minor and chronic ailments
at home.


Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price

This excellent book extends the knowledge gained from the most basic aromatherapy guides. It includes
information on plant families and explains what effect the natural chemical constituents have on the body
and mind. Safety in use is also discussed.
Aromatherapy for Health Professionals by Shirley Price and Len Price
This textbook of aromatherapy is aimed specifically at the health professional working in the community or
hospital. It covers both theoretical and practical aspects of aromatherapy

ISPA, the International Society for Professional Aromatherapy maintains a register of

over 6000 holders of the Shirley Price Aromatherapy Diploma who work in
complementary therapy, beauty spas and sports. ISPA is dedicated to aromatherapy
research, authorship, education and cultural exchange worldwide. International
Seminars are open to all qualified aromatherapists and students. ISPA is not aligned to
any particular national register or body of active and insured practicioners. ISPA's international activities
are supported by Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd and its qualified distributors in 40 countries worldwide.

When Shirley Price and Robert Tisserand made aromatherapy a

household word and took essential oils back into hospices and hospitals the cry was,
yes interesting case studies but where is the research? Researchers came together
at Warwick University, UK in 1997 in a landmark event. Now fifteen years on its
time to do it again to review the research in the meantime and showcase the work
done by Jane Buckle and her colleagues in particular. There is now so much
worldwide research on the clinical uses of essential oils and massage from mood
enhancement to cancer treatment that we need a guide to it. On May 12,13 2012
ISPA will be co-sponsoring Aromatherapy Research and Synergy of Essential Oil
Constiituents, a weekend seminar with Robert Tisserand. Venue Ardencote Hotel,
Warwick, UK Details are on
Bookings T:01455 615466. Cost 180+VAT
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which is supported by the Department of
Health and the Aromatherapy Council, can help when choosing a practitioner. We ensure that all
aromatherapists on our register have trained to the national standards of practice in aromatherapy and the
Aromatherapy Council Core Curriculum. The CNHC has established a voluntary register for
complementary healthcare practitioners who all meet the required levels of competence and practice.
Further information and registered practitioners can be found on the CNHC website


Federation of Holistic Therapists

The Federation of Holistic Therapists is the largest and leading professional association for therapists in the
UK and Ireland. With thousands of members offering a braod range of specialisms from sports and
remedial therapies to complementary healthcare and holistic beauty treatments
Aromatherapy Council
The Aromatherapy Council has evolved to become the Lead Body for the UK aromatherapy profession and
the Voice of Aromatherapy and supports the work of the UK regulator for complementary therapies, the
CNHC. It is responsible for reviewing and updating the Aromatherapy Core Curriculum which, along with
the National Occupational Standard for Aromatherapy form the standard for aromatherapy regulation with
the CNHC.
Members of the Aromatherapy Council
Aromatherapy and Allied Practicioners Association AAPA
Association of Physical and Natural Therapists APNT
British Register of Complementary Practicioners BRCP
Complementary Therapists Association - CthA
International Federation of Aromatherapists IFA
International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists IFPA
International Holistic Aromatherapy Foundation IHAF
Shirley Price Aromatherapy has had a 37 year association with IFPA.
International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists
82 Ashby Road
LE10 1SN
T: 01455 637987
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Products
Aromatherapy Trades Council
PO Box 219
Market Rasen
T: 01673 844672
Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd
The Old Factory
8 Hawley Road
T: 01455 615466 F: 01455 615054


Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy

Rosie Brandrick, Secretary
8 Hawley Road
T: 01455 615466
Other training providers can be found on


Shirley Price trained Aromatherapy tutors and authors


South Asia
UK & Canada



Scotland (Sue Jenkins trained with Patricia Davis)